The venerable Sizzler USA family steakhouse chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a business environment roiled by COVID-19 restrictions — and saying that not enough has been done to help restaurants survive.
"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact," Sizzler President Chris Perkins said, "due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements."
The company, which first opened 62 years ago, says it wants to keep all of its locations open. Sizzler says it hopes to renegotiate its leases over the next four months; it will also undergo a restructuring process aimed at reducing long-term debt.
Sizzler USA received between $2 million and $5 million in federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to ease job losses from the coronavirus and help keep small businesses afloat. That's according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department.
"It is our ultimate goal to keep all Sizzler locations open for business throughout this process," the company said in a statement sent to NPR. It added that it intends to fulfill financial commitments to employees, franchised locations and vendors.